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Danielle Smith reaches out to Elon Musk to protect Alberta’s free speech

Thomas Lambert

June 28, 2022

UCP leadership candidate Danielle Smith reached out to Elon Musk on Twitter to request Starlink’s aid in bypassing Trudeau’s anti-free-speech bill.

Danielle Smith requests Starlink to protect Albertans from censorship
Danielle Smith requests Starlink to protect Albertans from censorship

“Hey, Elon Musk. I’m running to be the Premier of Alberta. We still value free speech here. Could Alberta set up an independent ISP using Starlink to bypass the new Justin Trudeau internet censorship law,” Danielle Smith tweeted.

The internet censorship law Smith references is Bill C-11, the “Online Streaming Act,” which was recently rammed through the House without debate on the amendments.

The Bill would give the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) unprecedented powers to compel streaming platforms to promote “Canadian content,” which qualifies as whatever the CRTC says is Canadian content. Other content will be pushed to the back of the line.

Moreover, as Law Professor Michael Geist writes:

“[CRTC Chair Ian] Scott’s comments confirm what Rodriguez has misleadingly denied, and Bill C-11 critics have maintained for months: the Bill’s discoverability requirements will obviously require algorithmic manipulation in order to prioritize Canadian content. The notion that the CRTC is only tinkering with algorithms indirectly rather than directly makes little difference given the harms that the regulation can cause to Canada’s digital creators, who may find the algorithmic manipulation at home has disastrous consequences abroad. Given the confirmation that algorithmic manipulation due to regulatory requirements is absolutely a possible outcome of Bill C-11, it will be up to the Senate to fix the Bill when it conducts extensive hearings in the fall.”

YouTube has also expressed concern about Bill C-11’s scope, saying that amendments to the Bill ignored thousands of Canadian content creators.

As True North reports, “In a statement, YouTube Canada’s head of government affairs and public policy Jeanette Patell said the company is “disappointed that the concerns of thousands of Canadian creators were not recognized through amendments that would have reflected the minister’s intention for Bill C-11′s scope.””

“It is possible to support Canadian artists without compromising the creator ecosystem. We will continue to propose solutions and hope to work closely with the Senate towards this shared goal.”

It doesn’t look like any streamers or streaming services want the government involved in promoting Canadian content online, but the Liberal government is moving forward anyways.

Undoubtedly, several consequences will emerge, and some YouTubers have stated this Bill could decimate their career.

Jordan Peterson has been critiquing Bill C-11 for some time and recently told Canadians that they “better learn damn quick to use a VPN,” while Smith is looking to an American company to spare Albertans from Trudeau’s censorship.

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